02/02/11 11:33am

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Coming Soon: Pete’s Pizzeria
Here’s Park Slope shares a few photos of Pete’s Pizzeria, the new restaurant in the old SP Vino space on 5th Avenue between 1st and 2nd. The place won’t open for a couple of weeks, but the blogger stopped by a friends-and-family gathering the other night and reports that the pizza is “Ridiculously good, and very similar to what you’d find at a local joint in Naples. The pies are smallish with a chewy crust and the sauce is uncooked, sweet, and chunky. Add a little fresh buffalo mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, basil, oregano, and some grated Parm, and you’ve really got something unlike any of the other pizzerias in the area. They’ll also come with toppings like prosciutto, arugula, and balsamic; pesto, roasted vegetables, and Feta; and ricotta with spicy cherry peppers.”

This Week’s Openings
Eater shares a tip that Arancini Bros, “who’ve been serving up Sicilian rice balls at the Hester Street Fair, have opened up a brick and mortar location at The Wreck Room. Status: Certified open; 940 Flushing Ave., Bushwick.” Serious Eats raves about their rice balls, and at the risk of sharing a very guilty pleasure, we have to mention that Arancini Brother Will was the most likable potential love match on the recent season of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker… The New York Times mentions a few places that we’ve been reporting on: Padres, the new kosher spot on Atlantic Avenue, is open and serving “a smoked mushroom and onion pizza, eggplant gratin, sardines with skordalia, loup de mer with chestnut crepe, and duck breast with vanilla barley;” Court Street’s new Southern spot Van Horn is pushing “Brunswick stew, hush puppies and a BLT with pimento cheese;” and Crop to Cup is brewing coffee at their 3rd Avenue outpost.

After the jump: A local soda syrup maker, a year at Mile End, and expansion at Brooklyn Fare… (more…)

01/26/11 11:30am

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A Look Inside Dean Street
A few weeks back, we mentioned that former Spotted Pig chef Nate Smith was preparing to open a place called Dean Street in the old Tavern on Dean spot at Underhill. The new spot is open now and Yelper Noel R. says, “It’s strange because it’s almost as if the locals from the old Tavern on Dean spot have simply reclaimed their seats at the bar and continued their conversations from where they left off. This isn’t a bad thing since Dean Street already feels at home with a lively and fun crowd keeping the bar busy.” You can check out more photos of the space at Eater, and we’ve got a shot of the menu after the jump.

3 More Openings
“Alberto Avalle, who was one of the founders of the revolutionary Il Buco 16 years ago, will open a bakery, restaurant, and specialty foods complex, Pan Y Rosas, on Kent Avenue in April,” the Brooklyn Paper reports… Good news for fans of the Brooklyn Star: “The sweet tea will flow again at Joaquin Baca’s Southern-inflected eatery when it reopens on Feb 2. This expansive reincarnation—the original space was shuttered following a fire and reopened as Best Pizza—is nearly four times the size of the original, but the menu of hearty comfort food remains the same,” says The Feed… And according to their website, Mable’s Smokehouse (44 Berry Street at North 11th Street, Williamsburg) opened last night. “Barbecue has lots of company in Williamsburg, but this place cues the Midwest and South,” writes Florence Fabricant for the New York Times.

Marty Eats!
Everybody’s talking about the simply titled tumblr Marty Markowitz Eating, which consists of photos of our borough prez with food. Just keeping you in the loop, folks.

After the jump: Dean Street’s menu, Di Fara’s new look, and El Nuevo Portal vs. El Cibao… (more…)

01/19/11 11:30am

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Photo by 61 Local, via Grub Street

3 New Brooklyn Bars
“Beer garden and ‘public house’ 61 Local tweeted to say that it’s now open in Carroll Gardens. The 2,000-square-foot space from former Sixpoint-er Dave Liatti has local beer, wine, and kombucha on tap, plus a curds-focused food menu from Murray’s Cheese alum Chris Munsey,” writes Grub Street about this new spot at 61 Bergen, near Smith Street… Chowhound lambretta76 reports: “Walked by the former Kili space [79 Hoyt between State and Atlantic] yesterday (which has been closed for over two months) and noticed that ‘Cafe Piragua‘ has been displayed in the window… It looks like it’s just a bar; the kitchen is still going unused. Kind of a shame, that space has such potential.” … “Freddy’s Bar, the Brooklyn dive that was forced to leave its Dean Street home last year because of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project, has just set a date for its grand reopening in a new location two miles away. On February 4, the new Freddy’s will open on 627 5th Ave. over by 17th Street in the nether regions of Park Slope next to the highway,” says Eater.

Restaurant Openings and Closings
Grub Street says that Naidre’s on Henry Street is closed, but the new owners are already gearing up for a springtime opening: “It’ll reopen as Maybelle’s Café, a 30-seat café with a vegetarian-vegan focus… [Co-owner Sarah] Lovitt says they’ll introduce dinner several months from now, but they’ll first focus on breakfast and lunch… Intelligentsia will go into the Seattle-made Synesso machine, and laptop users can rest assured they’ll be welcome to plug in and take advantage of free Wi-Fi.” The Park Slope branch of Naidre’s will remain in business… “There’s a Cheeburger Cheeburger opening right down the block from me in Park Slope, 3rd Street and 7th Ave. The space has been vacant since Miracle Grill shuttered almost a year ago… Anyone been to one? Thoughts? The internet buzz seems fairly good,” says Serious Eater JustinH… Eater posted a photo of Spritzenhaus, “the new Greenpoint restaurant from the owners of Spitzer’s Corner. It looks like the windows are going to be able to fold up and open all the way like an awning.” … And finally, FIPS says that Willie’s Dawgs in Park Slope will be closing this Sunday, January 23.

After the jump: Where to eat in Windsor Terrace… (more…)

01/13/11 2:02pm

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There’s been a lot of activity in the old Uncle Louie G space on Smith between Atlantic and Pacific, and although the old striped awning is still on display, we just got a tip that the tattoo shop next door is opening a gallery and “mini boutique” in the space tomorrow night. Brooklyn Tattoo co-owner Adam Suerte and Omar Sanchez, who have spent years curating art shows in local bars, are running the place. Their own artwork will be featured in at the gallery’s opening tomorrow, January 14, from 7 to 11pm.

According to Suerte, rumors were circulating that a deli, a jewelry store, and a local fortune teller were vying for the storefront: “Since we renovated the space, we have been contacted by Papa John’s pizza a couple times. We weren’t excited about any of those options, so we feel we are doing the block a service, as well as serving our own selfish desires to get our artwork out there.” If you’re not on the market for some local art, you can still support the gallery by hitting the boutique for some Brooklyn t-shirts (priced at $25 — a bit cheaper than what you’ll find at Brooklyn Industries across the street) or pint glasses emblazoned with local landmarks.

01/12/11 11:34am

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Bark, Barrio and Belleville
FIPS reports that Bark Hot Dogs will start delivery service on January 25th. The delivery zone will range from “Bark (Bergen St. and Flatbush Ave.) East to Pacific Street, South-East to 4th Ave., South to 9th street, North to Underhill Avenue, and West to Prospect Park West.” Besides the basics, they’ll also be offering “some different party packs to go including Dogs, Burgers, Sides, Growlers, etc. at a discounted price for parties of 10 or more.” (Start planning your Super Bowl parties, kids!) Plus, the blog says that Mexican joint Barrio just jumped on the delivery bandwagon, and FIPS also spread-then-retracted a rumor that Belleville might be closing. Now it seems like the bistro is hanging in there, but they may have lost their liquor license. Photo by stu_spivak

Bevacco for Brooklyn Heights
60 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights
Looks like Peter Sclafani, who runs Bar Toto, Provini and Bar Tano, is taking over the old Busy Chef space. Sclafani told the New York Post that the new place will be called Bevacco, will serve similar Italian fare to his established restaurants, and could open in six months or so.

Now Open: TJ’s
221 Smith Street, near Baltic, (718) 522-4120
“While the name TJ’s evokes a bar where you might find chicken wings by the bucket and Porkslap beer in a can, don’t let the name deter you,” says the Strong Buzz in a favorable review. The new Italian spot is serving “reliable old-school Italian favorites including homemade pastas, simple entrees like a boneless baby chicken roasted with rosemary and olive oil, and a nice roster of hand-tossed pizzas from the fire-breathing brick oven in the rear of the restaurant.”

After the jump: Chowhound-approved Cuban on Classon, more food carts for city parks, and Jay-Z invests in a Brooklyn wing joint… (more…)

01/05/11 11:34am

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Best New Brooklyn Restaurant of 2010?
Sam Sifton lists his ten favorite new restaurants of 2010 in the New York Times, and only one of them is in Brooklyn — Williamsburg’s Fatty ‘Cue, where Southeast Asian flavors meet American barbecue. And in Sifton’s top 15 dishes piece, Fatty ‘Cue was once again the only Brooklyn joint that made the grade. He recommends their smoked crab laska: “A funky smokiness runs along like a bass line in this luscious bowl of soft, thick lai fun noodles, with a melody made up of cold-smoked lump crab meat, tiny anchovies, maitake and shiitake mushrooms, grated daikon, brown-rice vinegar, unrefined palm syrup and fiery chili heat, addictive as Marlboros.” Any other suggestion for Brooklyn’s best new restaurant or best dish of the year? Photo by Tungsten Property.

Brooklyn Restaurant and Bar Openings
Eater claims that the Garden Spot Cafe opened on New Year’s Day in the old Greenpoint Coffee House space at 195 Franklin Street: “The new owners spiffed up the old dining room, it now serves cheap, standard diner fare, including an extensive line of breakfast burritos.” Plus, at 286 Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, “Tuffet, a cheese/meat/bar from a Market Table alum is now open, with 15 rotating cheeses, cured and cooked meats, salads, and a full bar with wine on tap.” …Time Out New York reports that Freddy’s “is making a comeback in early January” at its new digs at 627 Fifth Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets… And Eater shares a Park Slope tip that “a restaurant called PS BKLYN is building out at 833 Union St in the space that once housed Bussaco.”

Manhattan Comes to Williamsburg
Grub Street reminds us that La Esquina is taking over the old Relish space, the Meatball Shop is opening an outpost at 170 Bedford Avenue near North 7th Street this spring, and now ‘inoteca‘s Jason Denton has signed a lease at the old Ciao Bella place at 138 North 8th Street between Bedford and Berry, and the place should be opening in March. Truffled egg toast without leaving Brooklyn? Yes, please.

After the jump: Lucali heads to Manhattan, Time Out talks knives and bitters, James offers a new deal for the new year, and more… (more…)

12/22/10 11:30am

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Little Buddy Biscuit Company to Close
Some sad news for South Slope: Little Buddy Biscuit Company‘s chef/owner Pete Solomita writes, “After six plus years as a wholesaler of baked goods and just about a year and half as a retail location, we regret to announce that, barring a miracle, we will be closing Little Buddy Biscuit Company on December 31, 2010… Perhaps one day we will re-emerge in another format or another place, so keep posted!”

Two New Spots for the Slope
Here’s Park Slope spoke to a contractor at the old Miracle Grill space (at 222 Seventh Avenue and Third Street), and it looks like a Chinese restaurant is moving in. The neighborhood blogger also shares some photos of the new Nona Rosa signage at 140 Seventh between Garfield and Carroll: “Considering the amount of time that construction’s been going on here, I wouldn’t be surprised if they open soon.”

Recently Reviewed: Anella
222 Franklin Street (Green Street), Greenpoint; (718) 389-8100
From Sam Sifton’s very positive one-star review in the New York Times: “[Chef Joseph Ogrodnek's] steak tartare is a robust and flavorful thing, served beside crisp-cooked artichokes and a soft mound of oil-slicked herbs. His golden leg of duck confit with a pool of smoky, bacon-studded lentils happily straddles the crisp-soft divide. He takes sweet Chatham cod and pairs it with zucchini, broccoli, basil and a hint of chili fire, cooking the fish to beautiful flakiness, so that it slides apart under the least pressure from a fork.”

After the jump: Bargain punch bowls at the Drink (plus recipes from Red Hook ex-pat LeNell Smothers), the kid-friendliness of Peter Luger, and Brooklyn Farmacy‘s new outpost… (more…)

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Photo by Jackie Neale Chadwick for Dram.

New Food Menus at Dram and Blue Bottle
Dram owner Tom Chadwick told Grub Street that his cocktail bar will be launching a small plates menu in January — “just interesting bites that you can have with your drink.” Plus, T Magazine says that Blue Bottle is now serving pastries, such as absinthe biscotti, Brooklyn Brewery stout cake, and “a s’more comprised of a homemade honey-scented graham cracker, dark-chocolate ganache and a moonshine-tinged marshmallow.”

A New and Noteworthy Burger
Williasmburg’s Fatty ‘Cue has added a burger to its late-night, lunch, and brunch menus, and according to Grub Street, it involves “a house blend with smoked coriander bacon, smoked Cheddar, lettuce, green tomato, red onion, pickle, aïoli, and chile jam.” We’ll settle for a no-frills Dram Shop burger any day, but as far as fancy burgers go, this one sounds pretty delicious.

Brooklyn’s Best Mexican Breakfast?
Chowhounds are buzzing about the best spots for authentic chilaquiles or huevos rancheros in Park Slope, Sunset Park, or elsewhere. So far, suggestions include Lopez Bakery (on 5th Avenue and 18th Street), Ricos Tacos/Piaxtla es Mexico (51st Street near 5th Avenue), Tulcingo Deli (5th Avenue at 55th), Los Tres Portillos (4th Avenue and 39th), and Nuevo Mexico (on 5th between 11th and 12th). Any other recommendations?

After the jump: Holiday pies on pre-order, and a thumbs up for Lady Jay’s… (more…)

12/08/10 11:30am

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Photo by iandavid.

Best “Old Brooklyn” Restaurants?
A Fort Greene newcomer asked New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton if he could recommend any “old Brooklyn” eateries, and Sifton replied: “You’ll want to visit the Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen on Avenue T. You’ll want to have some clams at Randazzo’s in Sheepshead Bay. You should absolutely have pizza at Totonno’s in Coney Island and more at L & B Spumoni Gardens in the Gravesend neighborhood. You should jog back down to Sheepshead Bay to Roll-N-Roaster and get a roast beef sandwich, a meal that has been satisfying high school students for 40 years. You absolutely need a hero from Lioni’s in Bensonhurst.” Any other classic Brooklyn spots to add to this list?

Brooklyn Restaurant Openings
And outpost of Dao Palate is opening at 201 Fifth Avenue (between Union and Berkeley), in a storefront “that’s recently been home to a couple failed Japanese restaurants (Tamari, Hakone),” says Here’s Park Slope… At the forthcoming Brooklyn Heights restaurant Colonie, you can “expect seasonal, locally sourced American cuisine with an open kitchen and counter-top dining,” says ZagatBuzz. To help with start-up costs, the owners raised $15,371 from 91 backers on KickstarterEater says that there’s new signage at the Greenpoint branch of Calexico, and a restaurant called Juniper is opening at Berry at North 7th in Williamsburg… Eater also notes that the owner of Le Barricou is “opening new restaurant Maison Premiere at 298 Bedford in early January. The restaurant is reportedly based on the 1890′s French Quarter New Orleans and will mainly exist as a bar and oyster bar, offering 25 different types of oysters along with cocktails and an ‘old world’ wine.” … And Bed-Stuy Blog reports on the openings of the new Mexican joint Alcatraz and the new market/sandwich shop Cinnamon Girl.

After the jump: 3 new Brooklyn bars, where to eat near the Dyker Lights, and another look at the underrated Umi Nom (more…)

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Ramen for Smith Street
We just got word that Boerum Hill Italian spot Lunetta (115 Smith Street, near Pacific) will be running a late-night ramen bar once a month, starting today. From 10pm to 1am, they’ll be slinging noodles, spicy chicken wings, and Koshihikari beer. Locals may remember that before chef Adam Shepard opened Lunetta, it was a homey and well-regarded Japanese joint called Taku — but the influx of sushi joints on the same block caused him to go Italian instead. If the food is as good as Taku used to be, we definitely want to check this out.

Specialty Foods for North Greenpoint
“North Greenpointmeaning West Street to McGuiness Avenue, from Greenpoint Avenue up to Newtown Creekhas been in the midst of a slow-burning retail explosion for the past several years,” says Brooklyn Based, citing the yoga studio, bike shop, and boutiques that have joined the neighborhood’s grocery stores, dry cleaners, and bars. Now they’ve also got a beer, cheese and specialty food shop called Eastern District (1053 Manhattan Avenue, between Eagle and Freeman, 718-349-1432): “The shelves are stocked with local snacks and condiments, like My Friend’s Mustard, Brooklyn Brine pickles and Yellow Queen Honey which is from hives in Greenpoint. They’ll also be serving up sandwiches and an assortment of nuts, olives, cured meats and other beer and cheese accoutrements.”

After the jump: Park Place Wine Bar and Caselnova… (more…)

11/24/10 11:27am

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World’s Best(?) Meatball Hero Coming to Williamsburg
Looks like the Meatball Shop is coming to Brooklyn. The New York Times says, “A branch of the Lower East Side specialist opens in the spring: 170 Bedford Avenue (North Seventh Street), Williamsburg.” The place has gotten tons of press, and according to a Village Voice review, “The world has never known a more perfect meatball hero.” Photo by Dont_Shoot_The_Messenger.

More Openings and Buzz
The New York Times confirms that Smashburger, a “cultish burger chain,” will open 3 shops in Brooklyn “early next year.” Eater seems excited about the chain’s arrival because “the meat is pressed with a heavy, metal stamp when it hits the grill so that it gets those crunchy edges that burger-geeks are always freaking out about.” A Hamburger Today shares a positive review of the burger, too. Any thoughts on where these shops might open? … Plus Bed-Stuy Blog reports on the neighborhood’s newest bakery: “SCRATCHbread‘s retail window (located at the corner of Bedford and Lexington Avenues) will be open this Wednesday, November 24th from noon-5pm with a Thanksgiving Day menu of breads and sweets, plus ready-made stuffing. Starting December 1st, their retail window will be open every Wednesday from 4-8pm for the neighborhood.” … And Eater says that Bushwick’s New York Loft Hostel “is getting a full-service bar and live music venue soon.”

Mile End‘s Revamped Dinner Menu
97A Hoyt Street, Boerum Hill; (718) 852-7510
In addition to their famous smoked meat, Mile End’s Noah Bernamoff and chef Aaron Israel (the former sous-chef at Torrisi Italian Specialties) are gearing up to expand their dinnertime offerings of Jewish-American(-Canadian) cuisine and, according to Grub Street, “breathe new life into traditional dishes with elevated technique and a fresh approach. Israel has been running new dishes like veal-tongue polonaise, chopped liver with a house-baked pletzel, and schmaltzed radish salad as specials over the last couple of weeks, and will make his new menu official after the holiday weekend.”

After the jump: Brucie, and Cariño (more…)

11/10/10 11:30am

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Brooklyn Pizza Guy Mourns Shake Shack’s Invasion
While everybody in the borough (ourselves included) was buzzing about Shake Shack‘s forthcoming Fulton Mall branch, Brooklynite Sal Casaccio, the owner of Tony’s Famous Pizzeria, was bummed about getting booted from his space so the burger joint can move in. We got caught in the flood of landlords trying to bring in so-called big business — I can’t believe they’re taking this building from us… This location was like dating Pam Anderson. How can you replace Pam Anderson? he asked the Brooklyn Paper. Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Joe Chan did help Casaccio find a new — albeit less sexy — location on Fulton Mall near Bond Street. Anybody know if Tony’s slices were any good?
Photo of pizza from Tony’s Famous via Yelp.

Tons of Brooklyn Restaurant Openings
Choice announces a new shop via Facebook, “Keep an eye out for Dough, our latest outpost, opening soon, on the corner of Lafayette and Franklin Aves., specializing in gourmet doughnuts and coffee.” … Grub Street peeks inside the Emerson (561 Myrtle Ave., nr. Emerson Pl.), a “throwback bar” from the owner of Maggie BrownHere’s Park Slope reports that an outpost of Gino’s, a beloved pizza joint in Bayside and Port Washington, will be moving into 140 7th Avenue… The New York Times reports on the opening of Brooklyn Oenology (209 Wythe Ave. Williamsburg), a “tasting room to sell wines made for it on the North Fork of Long Island with New York State grapes,” and Caselnova, the new Italian spot at 215 Columbia Street… And, finally, Grub Street and Eater talk about Brooklyn Fare‘s expansion to a 50-seat space next door to the market.

After the jump: A good reason to start drinkin’ at 11:11 tomorrow morning, and a review of the Narrows in Bushwick… (more…)